The University of Iowa men’s golf team heads to Independence, Minnesota, for the Gopher Invitational. The event is hosted annually by Minnesota at Windsong Farm Golf Club.
Rounds one and two will be played Sunday with golfers teeing off from holes number one and 10 beginning at 7:15 a.m. (CT) with continuous play into the second round. The final round will tee off Monday at 7:15 a.m. (CT) from holes number one and 10.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow the action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring. Links can be found on the men’s golf schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
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Junior Ronan Kleu will lead the Hawkeyes in the No. 1 spot, follwed by junior Mac McClear, senior Gonzalo Leal Montero, freshman Ian Meyer, and sophomore Callum Macfie.
Fourteen teams will compete at the Gopher Invitational, including Iowa, Arkansas State, Furman, Georgia Southern, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State, Marquette, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and West Virginia.
The Gopher Invitational is hosted annually at the 71-hole Windsong Farm Golf Club. The course, which spans 7,191 yards and 248 acres, is known for its rolling hills and expansive greens. Built in 2003 on the remnants of a horse farm, Windsong Farm is consistently rated one of the top modern golf courses in the United States.
Juniors Mac McClear and Ronan Kleu, and sophomore Garrett Tighe, were named to the Big Ten Men’s Golfers to Watch List. It is the first Big Ten preseason honor for each of the three, who had breakout seasons last spring.
- McClear was named an unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honoree following a pair of tournament victories, including an individual title at the Big Ten Championships.
- Kleu was a dominant force in the Peach Belt Conference at Columbus State, leading the conference with a 70.3 stroke average. He was named conference Player of the Year and earned Division II All-American recognition. Kleu opened the 2021-22 season with a sixth place finish at the Marquette Invitational, knocking in two eagles on the way to an eight-under par score on the week (208).
- Leal Montero is another impactful returning Hawkeye. The senior from Seville, Spain was a second team All-Big Ten honoree in 2020 and led the team in rounds at or below par (four) while recording an 18-hole stroke average of 71.8. Last spring, Leal Montero posted two top 10 finishes and twice posted a 209, tying for the eighth-lowest 54-hole score in program history (Kiawah Invitational; Hawkeye Invitational). Leal Montero tied for sixth at the Marquette Invitational to open the fall season, shooting a seven-under par 65 in the second round to match the fourth-lowest 18-hole score in program history. He finished the week with an eight-under par 208.
ON THE LINKS
The Hawkeyes opened the fall season with a ninth place finish at the Marquette Invitational. Iowa shot 856 (-8), anchored by Kleu and Leal Montero, who tied for sixth with 54-hole scores of 208 (-8).
- Iowa shot seven-under par on the back nine during the final round at the Marquette Invitational. Three Hawkeyes eagled hole No. 14 on Tuesday while two others sank birdies; Iowa tied USC for a tournament-best four eagles on the week.
- Leal Montero sank a team-best 13 birdies on the week and recorded a 65 (-7) in the second round, matching the fourth lowest 18-hole score in program history. The last Hawkeye to shoot a 65 was teammate Mac McClear last season at the Spartan Collegiate at Sea Island, an event he would win as an individual en route to an Iowa team win.
- Kleu opened his Hawkeye career with a bogey-free first round of 67 and shot below par the rest of the way. The Switzerland native sank 11 birdies and two eagles at the Marquette Invitational. Kleu’s 2.83 stroke average on par threes (-2) tied for the second best at the event.
- Freshman Ian Meyer recorded two rounds at or below par including a one-under 71 in the final round. The Deephaven, Minnesota, native fired off a back nine 31 (-5) on Tuesday to finish the week.
- The Hawkeyes had a successful 2021 spring season, winning a pair of team tournament championships and finishing in second place at Big Ten Match Play and the Big Ten Championships. McClear was the medalist at the Spartan Collegiate at Sea Island and earned Iowa’s fourth individual Big Ten Championship in program history; the Omaha native was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Year and earned unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honors.
HAWKEYE TEE SHOTS
- McClear returns the lowest 18-hole stroke average from last year’s squad (71.3), which was just a tenth of a stroke behind Schaake’s team-best average (71.2).</li
- Kleu joins the team with an impressive resume; the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year finished in the top 10 in all four events last season, including two top five finishes. Kleu led the Peach Belt with a 70.3 season stroke average last year, shooting below par in 11 of 15 rounds.
Two freshmen — Ian Meyer (Deephaven, Minnesota) and Carlos Roldos (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) join the Hawkeye roster this spring. Iowa also welcomes Kleu (Zollikerberg, Switzerland) as a transfer from Columbus State.
Iowa competes at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic Oct. 4-5 at Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Indiana.